Twitter Improves Ads with Keyword Targeting

twitter adsTwitter remains one of the fastest growing social media sites on the internet. The company has a lot of advantages going for it and they have been gradually upgrading and improving their offerings for businesses. Unlike Facebook, Twitter has not become a publicly traded company, but many believe that the recent changes on Twitter geared towards businesses, increasing revenue, and better advertisements are a sign of an impending IPO. Along those lines, Twitter recently made an important change to how it serves up ads.

Target What People Tweet

Late yesterday, Twitter unveiled its most recent changes to its advertising system for businesses and agencies alike. According to Shira Ovide at the Wall Street Journal, Twitter “will allow advertisers to tailor their ad messages based on what Twitter users are writing in their posts.” This is a huge jump forward for Twitter and it makes their advertising platform a lot more attractive.

Previously, Twitter had targeted ads primarily by categories. Whether a user fit a category or not determined whether they would see an advertisement or promoted tweet. Often times this could be erroneously determined and it’s not exactly the most accurate way of reaching users.

This new change brings Twitter’s advertising system more in line with Google’s keyword system which has allowed it to make record profits. Not only will it be great for Twitter, but it’s a great move for businesses and agencies looking to reach consumers in real time with ads that are relevant.

Timing Is Everything

The beauty of this change to Twitter’s advertising is that it will take advantage of Twitter’s unmatched ability to be timely. As Jim Edwards at the Business Insider writes, “advertisers can buy ads against any words or phrases they like, and whenever those terms show up on Twitter – boom! – the user gets an ad in response.” It’s going to be hard for any competitor to beat that system. To me Twitter appears uniquely geared towards that kind of immediately timeliness.

These types of ads can be great to build your brand by keeping relevant keywords or statements linked with your brand through advertising. When users tweet about something related to your brand, they will be reminded by the ad. That’s a powerful tool in your branding tool box.

Users Need not Be Wary

Some may assume that this means users will be hit with more ads on Twitter, something that all social media struggles with. Too many ads will deter users. Fortunately, according to Anthony Ha at Tech Crunch, users “won’t see more ads” and the new system is “just an extra way to target those users.” Twitter still stands by its ability and goal of trying to show only relevant content that’s “engaging to users.”

I’m pretty impressed by Twitter’s new changes to its ad targeting. This makes Twitter an even more attractive tool to reach customers for businesses and agencies alike. One can’t argue that the targeting precision these changes allow are a welcome upgrade to what Twitter has to offer. It’s going to be interesting to see how brands big and small take advantage of the changes. Twitter also has its own blog post covering the changes if you want to hear about them straight from the horses mouth.

The Future

One final note, as Peter Kafka states on All Things D, if the new ads work, “you’ll hear a lot about it in the coming months – and eventually, in Twitter’s IPO.” This might be one of the last major changes to Twitter before they feel ready to go public. Maybe they have learned from Facebook’s scramble to fix their platform after going public. It looks like Twitter wants to be ready before going public.

Will keyword targeting be the next big thing for online marketing? Do you plan to use Twitter’s keyword targeting?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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